Pharmacokinetics and toxicokinetics

International standards and resources

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry has published Glossary of terms used in toxicokinetics and Glossary of terms used in toxicology. Many of these terms are also used in pharmacokinetics.

Australian conventions and resources

There are no specific Australian conventions for pharmacokinetics and toxicokinietics.  A useful Australian resource for correct terminology is Pharmacokinetics made easy by D Birkett (originally published by Australian Prescriber).

Reminder. Just because the abbreviation of a term is made up of capitals, it does not mean that the term has initial capitals when it is spelt out.

Use lower case for pharmacokinetic and toxicokinetic terms (unless they include a proper noun), even if the abbreviation consists of capitals. Abbreviations that have more than one letter are in roman type, not italics:

area under the curve (AUC)     clearance (CL)     steady-state     volume of distribution     acceptable daily intake (ADI)     lethal dose (LD)     maximum tolerated dose (MTD)     Michaelis–Menten equation [also note the use of an en dash in this name]

Use italics for single-letter symbols for variables, and subscripts for qualifiers:

t1/2 [half-life]     Vd [volume of distribution]

Use hyphens in the following terms:

no-observed-effect level (NOEL)     lowest-observed-adverse-effect level (LOEL)

Use an en dash for the term dose–effect:

The dose–effect curve measures the relationship between …

See Other types of units for information about presenting levels of activity (eg LD50 for dose expected to kill 50% of target organisms or cells).

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